Letter to House on Anti-Contracting Amendment
April 30, 2002
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, I am writing to express our strong opposition to any efforts to impose restraints and excessive reporting requirements on the contracting processes within the Department of Defense (DoD) during consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, H.R. 4546.
For decades, businesses have worked in cooperation with the federal government to provide efficient and cost effective services for American taxpayers. During full committee mark up Representatives Allen and Andrews are expected to offer an amendment purportedly to ensure fair competition between the public and private sector for the performance of commercial services in government operations. What this amendment actually does is limit DoD's ability to competitively source commercial functions, effectively shutting out the private sector, increasing costs, lengthening the acquisition cycle and disrupting the operations of our armed forces.
A similar provision was debated last year in the defense authorization bill that drew intense opposition from the Secretary of Defense and bi-partisan Members of Congress and prompted a veto threat from the White House. As our nation continues to engage in a global war on terrorism, critical time cannot be wasted in another debate.
The government saves billions of dollars by partnering with business, and government investment in these companies helps sustain our nation's competitive edge in a variety of industries, including defense. I urge you to oppose the Allen/Andrews amendment or any other efforts that would restrict the competitive process within DoD at the expense of American businesses and taxpayers and our nation's defense.
R. Bruce Josten